A light 1 or 1 opening bid in 3rd or 4th seat can backfire when responder has good support. This is because a limit raise of 3 or 3 may jack up the bidding too high.

Enter the Drury convention. Invented by Douglas Drury in the 1950s, a 2 response by a passed hand shows a 3+ card limit raise. Opener bids an artificial 2 with a minimum, or rebids 2/ with at least normal strength.

After a while of this, somebody decided to create Reverse Drury, which reverses the meanings of opener's 2 and 2/ rebids. This follows the principle of fast arrival: poor hands sign off immediately whereas good hands conserve space by bidding slowly.

Still later, someone brewed up 2 as a 3-card limit raise and 2 as a 4-card limit raise. And that's how we've gotten 2-Way Reverse Drury.

All well and good, but I have two questions:

  1. Is the principle of fast arrival fully addressed? On average, a 4-card limit raise is more likely to make game than a 3-card limit raise. Just imagine a 9-card fit vs. an 8-card fit missing the trump queen. Thus the concept of "Double Reverse" Drury: 2 should show the 4+ card raise and 2 the 3-card raise. This method applies "fast arrival" for both responder and opener.

  2. How do you show good 5-card raises? They're rare but they do occur. This is the "3-Way" component. The 2 bid should distinguish between 4- and 5-card raises after opener's positive 2 reply.

Combine these ideas and you get 3-Way Double Reverse Drury. A 2 response is a 4+ card limit raise, and 2 is a 3-card limit raise.

Examples of 3WDRD in action:


West

1
2 (2)

North

Pass
Pass

East
Pass
2 (1)
Pass

South
Pass
Pass
Pass


1. 3-card limit raise
2. Signoff

This is very similar to a Two-Way Reverse Drury auction. But how about...


West

1
2 (2)

North

Pass
Pass

East
Pass
2 (1)
?

South
Pass
Pass


1. 4+ card limit raise
2. Sound opening values

Now we're cooking with propane. Responder's rebids after the above sequence:

2 An unbalanced 4-card raise with 5+ hearts.
2 An unbalanced 5-card raise. Saving space if slam exploration is warranted.
2NT An artificial relay to 3. Responder's rebids:
  • 3 - 4-2-5-2 shape
  • 3 - 4-5-2-2 shape
  • 3 - 4-2-2-5 shape
3 An unbalanced 4-card raise with 5+ clubs.
3 An unbalanced 4-card raise with 5+ diamonds.
3 A balanced 5-card raise. Any 5-3-3-2 shape with 5 spades.
3 Any 4-4-3-2 with 4 spades.
3NT 4-3-3-3 shape.
4 4-4-4-1 shape (i.e. a splinter).
4 4-4-1-4 shape.
4 4-1-4-4 shape.


This rebid system also supports hearts as trumps (i.e. 1 : 2, 2):

2 An unbalanced 5-card raise.
2 An unbalanced 4-card raise with 5+ spades.
2NT An artificial relay to 3. Responder's rebids:
  • 3 - 2-4-5-2 shape
  • 3 - 2-4-2-5 shape
  • 3 - 5-4-2-2 shape
3 An unbalanced 4-card raise with 5+ clubs.
3 An unbalanced 4-card raise with 5+ diamonds.
3 Any 4-4-3-2 with 4 hearts.
3 A balanced 5-card raise. Any 3-5-3-2 shape with 5 hearts.
3NT 3-4-3-3 shape.
4 4-4-4-1 shape (i.e. a splinter).
4 4-4-1-4 shape.
4 1-4-4-4 shape. (Don't bid 4.)


You can also tweak this response system as desired, but you get the idea. 3WRDR is a way to save bidding space for 9-card fits and to distinguish 5-card support as well. Is it more stuff to remember? Yes. But of nothing else, is the "Double Reverse" better than any other Drury variation? I think so.

Have fun out there!

See also

  • Drury
    The original Drury convention.

  • Reverse Drury
    A variation of Drury in which the meanings of opener's 2 and 2/ rebids are reversed.

  • Two-Way Reverse Drury
    A variation of Drury in which a 2 response shows 4-card trump support.

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